Library - Races - Tanar'ri

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"Well I was born an original sinner,
I was born from original sin.
And if I had a jink for all the things I've done,
There'd be a mountain of money piled under my chin."

Race Overview

Imagine an entire race of creatures whose numbers are unimaginably vast, whose minds are filled with nothing but hatred, and whose bodies are twisted to match their black souls. Living in an infinite expanse of torment, pain, despair, hopelessness and chaos, they bow to nobody but the powerful, raging against even each other. These are the Tanar'ri.

The Tanar'ri race varies widely in form, from the gibbering hordes of dretches, to slimy yochol, to snake-bodied marilith generals. Chaos is in their very nature, and no two tanar'ri are exactly alike. The only thing that is a constant with them is their hatred and depravity. Thriving on terror, they kill not only to survive, but for their own personal enjoyment.

Of course, not all tanar'ri are so overt in their actions. The incredibly beautiful succubi lure their victims in with a flirtatious wink and drain their soul with a kiss. The pincher-clawed glabrezu appear to mortal mages and tempt them with dreams of power, magic, and wealth, then rip them to shreds at the first opportunity, bringing the corrupted soul of the wizard back to the Abyss. Abyssal Lords, nearly gods in their own right, control and direct as many lesser tanar'ri as they can, by pure force and influence.

The other planes would surely be in trouble if it weren't for the one thing that keeps the tanar'ri occupied; the Blood War. Their attacks on the Baatezu are based on brute strength and numbers, rather than tactics, the masses of uncoordinated tanar'ri rushing forward onto the battlefield as a mass of bloodthirsty evil.


The always-dealing Yugoloths will often sell their services as mercenaries to the Tanar'ri. However, Yugoloth troops have been known to switch sides mid-battle, and are never ever fully trusted.

Both Slaadi and Tanar'ri are entirely too unpredictable to have any kind of stable alliance, but the two races share a chaotic nature, and at least have no above-average animosity towards each other.


The Baatezu are the Tanar'ri's mortal enemies, as the two fight for complete control of the Lower Planes. Neither race can stand each other, and Tanar'ri will often try to kill Baatezu on sight.

All celestial races are despised and hated by the tanar'ri, almost as much as the baatezu. Intolerant of the forces of good, the tanar'ri always enjoy toying with any celestial which may fall into their clutches within the Abyss. Outside their home plane, however, the tanar'ri are wary of the forces of Good since they don't have the numbers behind them.

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